Anbar (IraqiNews.com) Paramilitary forces killed three Islamic State members during an overnight offensive in the western area of Anbar as preparations continue for an operation against the group’s havens in the province.
Al-Hashd al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilization Units) said through its media on Monday that the troops killed three Islamic State militants during an encounter at al-Okashat region.
Those killed included two Syrian nationals: Omar (Abu Khattab) al-Yasouf and Abbas (Abu Hamza) Moussa.
The operation comes as preparations proceed for an offensive targeting IS havens in western Anbar held since the group emerged in 2014.
Ghassan al-Eithawi, a spokesperson for tribal groups fighting the Islamic State in Anbar, was quoted saying that tribal forces were building up for an operation targeting IS strongholds in the towns of Annah, Rawa and Qaim.
Iraqi and U.S.-led coalition fighter jets have regularly pounded those locations, killing dozens of militants. It is widely expected that the Iraqi government will launch a major security offensive in Anbar once it is done with the campaign to drive out IS from Mosul, the group’s principal stronghold in Iraq.
Islamic State members reportedly killed and wounded 30 Iraqi security members in an ambush near al-Rutba region, west of Anbar, on Sunday.